Statement by H.E. Abdullah Gül, President of the Republic of Turkey at the Third Nuclear Security Summit

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Mr. President,

Distinguished Heads of State and Government,

Esteemed Participants,

First of all, I would like to thank Prime Minister Rutte for hosting the Third Nuclear Security Summit in the Hague. I also thank the Dutch Government and people for their warm hospitality.

A world free from nuclear weapons remains our common goal.  That’s why we are here today. Nuclear non-proliferation, as well as achieving irreversible and verifiable nuclear disarmament is a key challenge. This requires collective action as no single country can overcome such a huge responsibility.

Two aspects are particularly important. These are ensuring physical protection for all nuclear material and facilities, and countering the threat of nuclear terrorism. Counter-smuggling measures are equally crucial.

We, therefore, support a broad and holistic approach to nuclear security through global partnership. We also have active dialogue and cooperation with other countries and international mechanisms, for preventing illegal transfer of dual-use material transiting Turkey.

It is with this understanding that Turkey became a party to the common efforts under the Nuclear Security Summit process from the very beginning. We are also a party to export control mechanisms on counter-smuggling. We stand resolute in conducting effective prevention and interdiction operations.

Since Washington, we have expanded our commitments and consolidated implementation measures. We welcome that the political stimulus generated by the process has been translated into concrete action.

On Turkey’s part, we are pursuing a three pillar strategy that has a sound legal framework, effective implementation and international cooperation.

The International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism has entered into force. The 2005 Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material is before the Turkish Parliament for ratification.

Legal and practical structures for implementation have also been put in place. Our national legislation and practices are constantly upgraded.

While discussing nuclear security, one has to consider energy security as a major challenge for sustainable growth.

With a vibrantly growing economy, Turkey has to diversify the sources of its energy supply. We are in need to supplement the energy basket with nuclear power plants. For that, we wish to benefit from the most advanced technology in terms of safety and highest standards of security.

We therefore strongly support the right to peaceful use of nuclear energy in full compliance with international obligations.

Measures that we discus for nuclear security today should in no way impede international cooperation on peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

Lastly, we must equally be aware of the need to address the security of military and other non-civilian nuclear materials. Around 85 percent of global stock of weapons and nuclear material remains outside the civilian programs.  They are not covered by international nuclear security norms and guidelines.

We must ensure the safety and security of all aspects of our respective nuclear programs.

In conclusion, I would like to underline that, for a better future, nations should rely on multilateral cooperation and dialogue rather than nuclear deterrence.

Thank you.

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